Artificial Intelligence Technology is it Opportunity or Threat?
Is artificial intelligence, above all, a threat, or do the opportunities outweigh the risks? Researchers at Stanford University have launched an in-depth study to address the challenges of this exciting technology.
In the context of digital transformation, particular importance is given to artificial intelligence. Last but not least, the interface between banks and their customers will change massively due to the technological possibilities associated with it.
Researchers from the famous Stanford University have launched a long-term study to examine the opportunities and possible threats. The project aims to investigate the effects of artificial intelligence over 100 years and develop scenarios of how people will live and work in the future. The first results are now presented in a report on living and working in 2030.
Understand artificial intelligence as an opportunity
Although many expectations of artificial intelligence (AI) have been disappointing in the past, there is steady progress to report. However, only some of them are so spectacular that they catch the eye of the public.
High-profile success stories include IBM’s Watson winning a US TV quiz or, more recently, Google’s AlphaGo software winning the Go board game against the 18-time world champion from Korea.
A professor recently said there wouldn’t be a global AI combining everything humans can do for the foreseeable future. However, AI already significantly impacts society and businesses; revolutionary changes are expected shortly.
The Stanford University report states that machines with independent long-term goals or intentions have yet to be developed and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
However, many challenges remain. For example, how AI will change the labour market and how to reap the economic benefits of new technologies for society.
Eight central research areas of artificial intelligence
The researchers presented their results divided into eight main artificial intelligence research areas. They examine the opportunities and risks for each area.
Transport is the first area that will be permanently modified by AI. The most well-known keyword in this context is “autonomous driving.” With e-mobility and carpooling, there will be a wide range of effects on the automotive industry and urban and transport planning.
Smart home technologies and robots are entering the household and office sector, which will communicate with each other and people through natural speech and a wide range of sensors. Mail delivery, house and office cleaning, and security services will be part of their standard services.
Researchers believe that significant changes are possible in the healthcare industry. Knowledge-based algorithms could take care of the patient’s medical history, i.e., the comparison of symptoms with the characteristics of the disease, and thus help doctors to establish a diagnosis. Other approaches, some already in use or undergoing clinical trials, include health monitoring using mobile apps or surgical robots.
Improved cameras and drones can be used for surveillance to establish public security. Unique algorithms could detect financial fraud early, and predictive policing tools could use various data to estimate the likelihood of crimes in certain areas.
The world of work will also change massively. However, it currently seems complicated to predict whether the consequences will be mainly positive or negative. It seems evident that machines will take over various tasks and that the existence of entire professional groups is threatened. They range from truck drivers to radiologists and lawyers.
It is feared that many people will no longer be able to live from their work. This raises many questions whose answers are less economic than political, such as a primary income granted by the state.
The following report will be published this year
As with all projections, whether the researchers’ predictions will come remains open. The past of artificial intelligence has shown more than once those changes are somewhat erratic than continually predictable. Therefore, a new report on the current state of research will be published this year.